What Matters Ralph?

About his sculpture, Ralph Johnson says, “It’s gotta be fun or I’m not doin’ it!”
Ralph has turned the ground floor under his house into a craftsman’s cave full of antique tools, slabs of timber, workbenches, machinery and curious found objects.

Last year at the Ocean Shores Art Expo Ralph stood at the back of the crowd while prizes were being announced. He failed to hear his name called for first prize in Sculpture. His partner Rennie pushed him toward the stage. “That was a bit of a buzz winning last year.. right out of the blue.”

As a volunteer, Ralph turns up each year to help turn the Ocean Shores Public School auditorium into a large gallery space, because “you are part of the community and there’s the camaraderie.”

From his studio in South Golden Beach, Ralph talks about the process of entering the show. “When I hear the theme, it inspires me to go in a specific direction. It gives me momentum.” The theme for 2016 is “What Matters?”

Ralph’s winning piece last year, “Wild Man” was made from bleached, weathered wood, naturally worn and shaped. Rather than having a set plan, Ralph allows each shape to suggest how to evolve the work. He says it’s exciting to create this way and to be surprised. About entering the Expo, he says, “I’d encourage people to spread their wings and have fun with it.”